Ecological genetics of the barnacle, Hexaminius foliorum, within mangrove forests near Sydney, Australia

  • Claus S
  • Ross P
  • Richardson B
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Spatial and temporal distribution of allozyme variation at three loci in a cohort of the barnacle, Hexaminius foliorum, living on leaves of Avicennia marina was studied from recruitment to adulthood at three geographical scales. Analysis of populations shortly after recruitment showed that there were significant divergences in allele frequencies at the coarsest geographical scale studied (between estuaries, 50 km apart, Wright's F statistic=0.016) and at the finest geographic scale (between sites, 50-100 m apart, Wright's F statistic=0.018). There was, however, no significant genetic divergence at an intermediate scale (between bays, 3-4 km apart, Wright's F statistic=0.002). The genetic differences between populations decreased over time due to the selection against the null homozygotes originally present at high frequency at two loci. There was sufficient mortality (ranging from 35.5 to 80%) between seasons to account for the deaths needed for the observed changes in allele frequencies. Differences in the genetic structure between estuaries may be the result of isolation and limited mixing of cyprid larvae among estuaries. Differences in the genetic structure between sites may be due to pre- and post-settlement mortality acting on H. foliorum.

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  • S. C. Claus

  • P. M. Ross

  • B. J. Richardson

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